It was mid-morning when I packed up my car and hit the open road. I anticipated being in Red Deer mid-afternoon with enough time to scope out a few key spots for Lindsay & Brandon. I knew ahead of time that Lindsay and Brandon are super laid back people with a sweetness about their relationship.
I arrived at the Canyon Ski Lodge a little earlier than I had expected. I wasn’t 100% in love with doing photos right at the ski hill, as a few days before they had the Mud Run and things were looking a little, well.. muddy, so I kept hunting. Luckily, I have an eye for hidden gems in heavily forested areas and stumbled upon what turned out to be the coolest farm I’ve ever had permission to shoot at.
As I drove up the driveway, a passer by stopped to talk to me. I generally end up talking to random cool people all the time and this day was no exception. We got to chatting about who owned the farm, and she figured I would have the best luck talking to her neighbour who owned the next farm over.
I jumped back in my Rav4 and headed over to his place. I drove down a dirt road that seemed to last forever, found his house, jumped out of my car and walked to his door. I rang the bell eagerly, unfortunately no one answered which is a normal occurrence for me, (waiting on people’s door steps to ask permission to be on their land that is). After fifteen minutes, I decided to walk back to my car, grab some paper, leave a note and cross my fingers that they would call me back before the sun set. (I would need a backup plan if they didn’t).
I reluctantly drove away, heartbroken that I might not be able to bring Lindsay & Brandon back to this perfect spot the following day, and have to give up on what my artistic side had felt would be the best thing ever for everyone involved. I would have clients that knew I really had their style in mind and cared enough to harass some poor farmer so I could make their photos ones to remember for a lifetime.
I headed towards the reception venue, which sat at the bottom of a steep road and found Lindsay, Brandon and their families setting up their reception area. I had no idea that Lindsay was such an amazing DIY-er – something we definitely have in common. From the smallest details, I could see everything was made with their guests in mind. Brandon cut slivers of birch that they attached to candles, each included hand painted initials on hearts hanging from a string. These were for their guests to take home as a thank you for sharing their day with them. They had also hung lights from a centre piece chandelier that made the ambience of the reception wonderfully romantic.
Once Lindsay and Brandon were a little less busy, I checked out the reception space and chatted about my ideas for the next day. They were completely game, which made my day and invited me to the ceremony rehearsal that afternoon.
With a few more hours before the rehearsal, I wanted to drive around and see if I could find the perfect back-up spot.
I headed north on a dirt road and then changed my mind, I had a feeling that the farmer would call me and decided to head towards the church. Good thing I did because I was blown away! This was by far, the darkest church I had ever shot in my career. It had a central sky light that allowed a beautiful beam of natural light to shine through it, romantic & unique can only start to explain how gorgeous this church was. The lighting conditions would be challenging, but me being me, I got excited for the opportunity to work with this amazing sky light.
After chatting with the priest, I hit the road and found myself driving back to the farm. I never like the feeling of showing up unannounced, but when I rang the bell again, I was greeted by a lovely man.
He appreciated my efforts to get a hold of him and went on to tell me that the farm had been in his family for decades. He had grown up there, having seen many people trespass over the years, resulting in stolen & damaged property. Super heart breaking, I know!
I assured him no one would disrespect his land if we had the opportunity to shoot there. He trusted my word and gave me permission to shoot anywhere I wanted. He even took time to show me a few other spots on his adjacent property, which was beautiful. I couldn’t thank him enough, as I really felt this opportunity had encouraged my creative eye when looking for locations. Knowing the back story to his land also gave me a greater appreciation, knowing that generations had built the barns that stood in front of me.
The next day I woke up and checked the forecast. It decided to change, as luck would have it, with a slight chance of rain. I told myself it didn’t matter due to the amount of trees surrounding us, on top of that, the ceremony and reception were indoors, so no extreme back up plans needed to happen.
As I arrived at Lindsay’s hotel room and prepped for detail shots of her dress, we could see dark clouds rolling in and rain pouring down. Later without missing a beat, Lindsay got on the phone as her mom was doing up her dress, and got someone to grab some umbrellas for the wedding party.
One of the greatest moments is the first look, and as Lindsay headed down to meet Brandon for theirs, she completely forgot about the rain as you could tell she was over joyed with emotion and love for soon-to-be Husband. His expression was just as heartfelt and excited when Lindsay turned and showcased her beautiful dress. Sealing the moment with a kiss, they drove to the ceremony.
Fortunately, just after the ceremony finished, the clouds parted and the sky cleared, just in time for family formals and portraits! Nothing more than a miracle that the rain stopped to allow everything to go down without a hitch. The moments were sweet, romantic, joyful and fun!
Their was laughter and tears as we stepped carefully though the tall grass and under the birch trees. Shooting through the moss covered, dilapidated barn and catching the look newlyweds give each other was a wonderful. That butterfly, happy tear kinda feeling you only truly know after marrying your best friend.
I don’t want to go on forever, but I do want to point out that their reception was amazing. Lindsay & Brandon’s family are genuinely kind people. I always love when parents get emotional when welcoming their new son or daughter in-law to the family. I always have to take a deep breath as those real moments take hold of us.
Thanks Lindsay, Brandon, your friends and family for being such a pleasure to get to know and shoot… especially your friend who looks identical to Seth Rogan. You made my experience amazing and I hope you love the images!
Getting ready // Sheraton Hotel
Ceremony // St. Mary’s Catholic Church
Reception // Canyon Ski Resort
Brides Dress // Novia Mia
Hair Stylist // Shea-Anne Brown
Make-up Artists // Shea-Anne Brown
Shoes // second hand
Garter // Brides mom hand crafted it
Jewellery // matching necklace/bracelet/earrings set from Etsy, my own blue bracelet, my maternal grandfather’s wedding band, and my paternal grandmother’s wedding rings tied to my bouquet
Veil or head piece // The Gown Gallery, Barrie, Ontario
Wedding Rings/Bands // Peoples
Officient // Father Les Drewicki
DJ // Danceland DJ’s
Cake // made by Brandon’s sister and his mom
Want to check out their Engagement photos? Click here: Lindsay & Brandon – Engaged!